If you want to study, but are struggling with financing your study, you may want to look into the possibilities of scholarships. There are many more ways to get a scholarship than most people know, so keep reading and find out all of them! We’ll give you everything you need to know about scholarships, like how, when and where to apply for them, and we have some great extra tips to pay attention to.
What’s a scholarship?
Let’s start off by explaining what scholarships exactly are. A scholarship is a gift, given by many kinds of companies, employers, communities and more.
What kind of scholarships are there?
There are a few different kinds of scholarships. We’ll start off with merit-based scholarships. These are based on your skills, abilities and achievements. To qualify you will have to meet a certain set of standards and criteria. These scholarships are based on achievements. Other scholarships are based on your financial needs. Actually, these are officially called grants. Here are a few different categories. For instance, there are grants for military (or their spouses!), for women, for graduate students, etc.
Some scholarships cover your entire study. Other scholarships only cover parts of it. There are also scholarships that are gifts of a few hundred dollars.
How do you find scholarships?
If you want to apply for a scholarship, we recommend doing some research yourself to find out which scholarships are fitting for you, and to which ones you qualify for.
We can name you a few places that you should definitely check for scholarships if you’d like one.
- Your (or your parents’) employer
- Organizations in the field of your interest
- College financial aidsoffices
- High school counsellors
- Federal agencies
This is just a start, there are many kinds of organizations offering scholarships.
When do you apply?
The time of your application is actually quite important because all scholarships have certain deadlines. You don’t want to be late for that. Unfortunately, we can’t exactly tell you when to do it because it differs per scholarship. But one very important tip we want to give you is to start early because some deadlines are actually a year before the start of college.
Now, just a few tips to make sure you’re prepared for an application. It’s actually quite similar to applying to a college or university.
- Make sure you’re organized. Get all of your old school documents and other important papers in order, and organize them in binders. This way, you’ll always have all the documents you need when you’re asked for it.
- Provide references and referees. Just as with job interviews, there’s a big chance you’ll be asked for references and referees. This way, your referees could highlight certain skills that may be important to your scholarship.
- Watch the details. How you present yourself is very important when applying for a scholarship. You’re going to have to pay attention to the smallest details like your writing.
How about your current financial aid?
Maybe you already got a gift or something else that was added up to your current financial aid. Important to know is that your total financial aid may not be more than the total cost of your study career. That’s why you always have to let your school know what your current financial aid is, so they can make a calculation and subtract that amount from your cost of attendance.
We’ve seen that many people wonder whether if a scholarship counts as taxable income. Unfortunately, there not one answer to that, since that depends per scholarship. Generally speaking, scholarships are tax-free if you’re a degree student and the money is used for books and other necessities. But since there are some exceptions, you should always check this out with your scholarship/grant giver.
Now, as said, we recommend you do some of your own research to find out which scholarships you could apply for, good luck!